• The Vacaville Police Department had launched a probe into the matter
  • The witness who filmed the video said the officer punched the animal multiple times
  • Police said the dog was being examined by a veterinarian

A K-9 was removed from the home of a Vacaville, California, officer after a video showed him punching the dog during a training exercise.

In the video, which surfaced last week on Facebook, the officer was seen near a warehouse on Vaca Valley Parkway with the dog pinned between his legs as he punched it. Robert Palomino, who filmed the video, said the deputy punched the canine several times before he began recording the incident.

"I heard a dog crying, when I looked, the officer was punching the dog over and over and got shocked about it," Palomino wrote in the post’s description. "... I’m sure he saw me, he stopped beating the dog when he saw me and went behind those trailers in the video."

The Vacaville Police Department had launched a probe into the incident. Neither the officer nor the dog was identified by the department, SF Gate had reported last week.

"Yesterday evening a video surfaced of an interaction between one of our officers and his canine partner during training. We understand how disturbing the video appears to many who view it and the range of emotions it creates. What the video doesn’t show is the moments prior, when the canine became aggressive towards his handler. We want to assure the public this incident is being evaluated in its entirety and will be investigated appropriately," police said in a Facebook post.

The department said the dog has been "removed from the care of his handler" and was examined by a vet. Police said the dog showed "no sign of distress or injury."

"The canine has been placed in the care of a third party outside of the Vacaville Police Department pending a thorough and complete investigation into the incident, " the latest post mentioned.

The officer had no experience with a K-9 partner, but had been training the dog for three to four months, Police Capt. Matt Lydon said, SF Gate reported.

The San Francisco SPCA, an animal shelter and public animal hospital, slammed the officer for his behavior, calling it "animal abuse."

"The San Francisco SPCA, being a leader in dog behavior and training, would like the public to know that physically threatening or harming an animal is never acceptable, regardless of the animal's behavior," the organization said, according to SF Gate.

Dog Training
Pictured: Representative image of a dog with its trainer. Pixabay